Dark Souls inspired Recursion

This was inspired by From Software's rather brutal games (Demon's Soul, Dark Souls series and Bloodborne) and has been designed with repeated PC death in mind.

This is a work in progress, but I wanted to shared the rules I'd come up with so far.

Due to the length of this, I've attached it as a .txt file, since the forum says its about 36000 characters too long and I didn't want to put it here in 12 separate posts and make the moderators think I was spamming.

Comments, feedback and suggestions are welcome.


  • edited June 2015
    I think this recursion sounds great! Dark Fantasy Adventure Horror is a great game genre and would certainly earn some fiction bleed from not only Dark/Demon Souls/BloodBourne, but also games like Castlevania.

    I would, if you're running this in "The Strange" leave out the additional rules for Hollow characters and character death though. Changing a character's foci when they enter a new recursion is one thing, but changing fundamental game rules entirely can be quite a curve for players to catch up to, especially when they visit many recursions. You want a visceral change for the players, but not so large that it's as if they're playing a different game.

    Your foci and creatures are great, and I'd say if you're making a "Demon Souls"-esk game in the cypher system as a stand alone game type, the rules you've added are loyal to the source content and well thought out. But for "The Strange", I think changes so complex might do you more harm then good, that is unless your players LOVE Demon Souls, and LOVE that sort of survival system, then by all means, let them have it!

    The content/genre is certainly ripe for use in a tabletop game, though. Especially in a game so capable of Wonder and Terror as The Strange. Keep up the good work!
  • I can see where you're coming from, and I understand that adding vast amounts of rules can be detrimental to a game.

    Consider this, I was actually working on a third focus for this recursion called 'Wields Massive Weapons' to include the ridiculously huge weapons we've seen in the Souls games, but after some time of working on it I realised that what I was creating was both over-complicated and way OP, so I dropped it.

    As far as the changes to death, I don't feel I've done anything that is outside of what The Strange was intended to do. Remember that death in Ardeyn is not final like it is on Earth, if a character dies while on Ardeyn their soul goes to the Night Vault. That then opens up the opportunity for a side quest where the rest of the party goes down into the Night Vault to try and rescue the one (or those) who died.

    With that in mind it isn't a stretch of the imagination that other recursions might have even more esoteric ways of dealing with death, just look at how many levels of heaven and hell there are in D&D, is it so much of a stretch to think recursions could be that complex as well?

    Personally I think The Strange is about making it feel like a different game in each recursion, since they are not that far away from being completely different realities with different laws of physics, an adventure on Earth should feel different to one on Ardeyn and different again on Ruk, and so on for other recursions. But that's my take on the game, perhaps you're thinking differently to me.

    I've already spoken to some of my players about the possibility of playing a game based on the Souls games and the first thing they all asked was "Will we lose our XP if we die?", when I told that 'that was the idea' they loved it.

    All GMs are different and everyone runs their games differently, I posted my creation here for people to see and use if they like, I don't expect everyone to love it and no one to hate it.

    I appreciate the feedback, and I am considering simplifying things a little. Like I said in the first post, its a work in progress.
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